86994 The Big Picture How To Prepare For War


This film is from the documentary series called “The Big Picture” which ran from 1951 to 1964 and featured films produced by the US Army Signal Corps Army Pictorial Service. This episode focuses on the National Guard and depicts what it takes to become a member as well as what a day in the life of a guardsmen looks like. It opens with Adjutant General of Tennessee (:09) introducing the film and letting viewers know they will be guests of the National Guard. The film is presented by the US Army (:50) and is an official war report produced for the armed forces and civilians. The setting is in New England and a sign for the “Colonial Inn 1776” is shown (1:36) as well as “The Old Manse” which was home of the Emerson’s, Ripley’s and Hawthorne’s (1:51) as the area is rich in history. This is the location in which the ‘shot heard around the world’ was fired (2:15) in Lexington, Massachusetts. The subject of the story is shown along with neighbors of the town working on spring cleaning projects (3:15) when he receives an alert call (4:23). Other men of the town also hear the alert and drop whatever they are doing and head to the National Guard’s Nike Ajax site (5:42). Whether or not the alert is for practice or not, guardsmen must arrive promptly and treat it as a real emergency (5:56). The sign for the Massachusetts National Guard control site follows (6:07). Guardsmen are deployed to locations in the area chosen in predetermined plans (6:33) and National Guard uniforms are seen being handed out (6:44) as well as a radio unit tested in the back of a jeep (6:53). At the Massachusetts National Guard Launching site, the main character settles into position and over the radio they are informed an unidentified flying craft was spotted on the radar screen and sparked the alert (11:13). Other guards in the area set up at the Nuclear Metals Plant (11:39), to the Concord revisor (11:54) as well as to other missile sites (11:59). Air National Guard jets took off within minutes of receiving the alert (12:08). The film show’s his first night when he reported for a two-hour drill at the armory (12:57). His first guard unit was a tank outfit (13:12) and a stripped-down turret assembly of a tank is seen on the floor of the armory (13:16). Training was conducted in compliance with active army standards (13:25) and new enlistees without previous experience completed six months of active duty training at the army training center (13:31). He had chosen to do training which would allow him to transfer to a National Guard Nike Missile site (14:14). There were more than 5,000 Army and Air Guard units in over 2,600 communities (15:28). Guardsmen were trained in all types of climate including over 100 degrees (15:43) as well as in the freezing temperatures of the arctic (15:48). The Eskimo Scouts of the Alaskan National Guard in Fort Richardson, Alaska follow (16:00). They reported on any unusual movements in the Bering Sea and assisted with emergency rescue operations (16:09). The Hawaiian National Guard (16:30) was responsible for guarding the Nike Missile site on Oahu (16:52). Scenes from combat training follow (17:52) and the Guard had 21 Infantry Divisions as well as 6 Armored Divisions. Members of the Air National Guard’s (18:20) defense responsibility lay in interceptor and in tactical reconnaissance. An additional responsibility of the National Guard is to aide in local emergencies and the film turns to the scene of a disastrous flood (18:57) with Guardsmen unloading supplies. They had a dual status of reservists of the US Armed Forces as well as members of the National Guard to their own state (19:29). Many of the men worked full time jobs or went to school in addition to being members of the Guard and they were paid regular Army or Air Force wages for their time (20:40). The first state militia was formed in 1636 in New England, and the National Guard’s creed is read over historical sites and scenes including the North Bridge in Concord during the Revolutionary War (22:02), the militia fighting in Valley Forge (22:15), the scene of British surrender in Yorktown (22:28), the Argonne Forrest (23:06), the beaches of Okinawa (24:08), and the beaches of Normandy (24:19). Scenes of national disasters follow including the Texas City Disaster in 1947 (24:59). Back at the Ajax Missile site in Massachusetts, the men are informed the unidentified blip is a friendly craft whom had gone of course (26:41). Here all the men at the stations are told they may return to normal operations (26:51) and the film concludes as they return home.

Link Copied

Share on facebook
Share on twitter

About Us

Thanks for your interest in the Periscope Film stock footage library.  We maintain one of the largest collections of historic military, aviation and transportation in the USA. We provide free research and can provide viewing copies if you can let us know some of the specific types of material you are looking for. Almost all of our materials are available in high quality 24p HD ProRes and 2k/4k resolution.

Our material has been licensed for use by:

Scroll to Top

For Downloading, you must Login or Register

Free to Download High Quality Footage

Note: Please Reload page and click again on My Favorites button to see newly added Favorite Posts.